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Punters Gearing up for July Festival at Newmarket


Some of the summer's hottest flat racing action kicks off at Newmarket this Thursday as the July Festival gets into full swing. Several high-profile races are set to unfold. The feature contest is the July Cup which unfolds on Saturday.

Delegator is the highest profile entrant in that one and he made a major statement in his seasonal debut by scoring in the Group 2 Duke of York Stakes back in May. He ended his season on a bit of a down note last year when he was bested in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile to the living legend Goldikova. Punters will find Delegator trading at around 7/2 with most major bookmakers.

Star Witness returns to the mix for this one with a potential big run looming from Zoffany. The three year old son of Dansili is taking on older horses but his form looks to be improving with a run of second-place finishes to the likes of Bewitched, Mutual Trust and Frankel. The margins are shortening and the cut-back in distance to 6f throws him into the mix based on his breeding. A run against specialist sprinters could make for a very challenging, albeit winnable, contest for the Irish runner.

The massive handicap unfolding in the Bunbury Cup will certainly make it a premier betting race but it will be tough to pick a winner out of such an expansive field. Several European books have King of Jazz ahead of Dance and Dance with the lowest price on offer hovering around 15/2.

Expect to see globetrotting contender Redwood make another appearance, this time in the Princess of Wales Stakes. Following a season that saw him competing on four continents, assistant Charlie Hills was bullish about his chances and pronounced him “in very good nick.”

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